Buying a house is a huge decision – one that can have a major impact on your life. And while most people hire realtors to help them through the process, there are some who choose to go it alone. So, should you buy a house without a realtor? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Difference Between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Agent?
REALTORS® are real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). To become a REALTORS®, an individual must meet certain requirements, including completing training on a code of ethics and being a member of a local board of REALTORS®.
A real estate agent is any person who is licensed to help people buy or sell properties. Unlike REALTORS®, there are no extra requirements or qualifications that an individual must meet in order to become a real estate agent.
While all real estate agents are required to pass state exams in order to earn their license, not all agents are created equal. When working with an agent, it’s important to ask about their experience level, especially if you’re buying or selling a home for the first time.
This does not mean that REALTORS® are better or more qualified than regular real estate agents; it just means that they’ve joined a broader network of real estate professionals.
Generally speaking, agents who have been in the business for longer will likely have more experience than those who are just starting out.
Can I Buy A House Without A Real Estate Agent?
You are not legally required to have a real estate agent when buying a house, but using an agent is in your best interest.
Pros of Using A Real Estate Agent
Agents Have More Access to Listings
One of the most important benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they will have access to more listings than you would if you were searching on your own. In order to get access to the multiple listing service (MLS), you must be a licensed real estate agent. The MLS is a database of homes for sale that is only accessible to agents. This ensures that only experienced agents are able to list homes on the MLS, which helps protect buyers from scams and provides them with peace of mind throughout the home buying process.
Working with an experienced real estate agent who has access to the MLS gives you the opportunity to see listings as soon as they become available—sometimes even before they are officially on the market. This is because real estate agents often have relationships with other agents in the area and can sometimes get their hands on listings before they are widely publicized.
In addition to being able to provide buyers with access to listings, agents who are members of the MLS also have exclusive access to certain features that can make finding the right home easier. For example, some MLS systems allow agents to set up automatic alerts that notify them when new listings matching their buyer’s criteria become available.
Agents Are Expert Negotiators
When it comes to purchasing a home, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most important is negotiating the price. After all, you want to get the best possible deal on your new home. But unless you’re an experienced negotiator, this can be a daunting task. That’s where a real estate agent comes in. With their help, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible price on your dream home.
Furthermore, real estate agents have extensive knowledge of the housing market. This allows them to provide valuable insights and guidance when it comes time to negotiate the price of a home. With their help, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible deal on your new home.
It Doesn’t Cost Any Money For Buyers
Many home buyers are surprised to learn that they don’t have to pay a real estate agent’s commission. In fact, the seller pays the entire commission, which is typically around 6 percent of the sales price of the home. So, if you’re thinking of buying a home and working with a real estate agent, rest assured that you won’t have to shell out any extra money for their services.
The seller pays the commission because the real estate agents are working for them. The seller’s agent markets the home and works to negotiate the best possible price for their client. The buyer’s agent does similar work on behalf of their client, but ultimately it’s the seller who pays both agents out of their proceeds from the sale.
A typical real estate commission is 6 percent, which is split evenly between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. So, if a home sells for $200,000, the listing agent would make $6,000, and the buyer’s agent would make $6,000.
Agents Are Experts in the Area
One of the biggest advantages of working with a real estate agent is their local market knowledge. They know which neighborhoods are up-and-coming; which school districts are the best; and which homes will appreciate in value. This knowledge is invaluable when you’re trying to find the perfect home because it means your agent can help you narrow your search to properties that meet your specific needs and budget.
Agents Have Relationships With Lenders
As a home buyer, you may be inundated with offers from mortgage lenders. It can be tough to know who to trust. After all, this is likely the biggest loan you’ve ever taken out, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. This is where your agent can help. They likely have established relationships with several lenders and can help guide you to one that they trust.
Your agent’s recommendations come from a place of experience. They’ve worked with many buyers and have seen firsthand which lenders provide great service and which ones don’t. If your agent has a lender they recommend, it’s a good idea to at least speak with them and see what they have to offer. Even if you end up going with another lender, it’s always good to have as much information as possible before making such a big decision.
Cons of Using A Real Estate Agent
For many home buyers, working with a real estate agent seems like a no-brainer. However, there are some potential downsides to working with a real estate agent that home buyers should be aware of before making a decision.
The first downside to working with a real estate agent is that they may not have your best interests at heart. While most real estate agents are ethical and honest, there are some who are more interested in making a quick commission than in helping you find the right home. It’s important to do your research when choosing a real estate agent and to select someone who comes highly recommended by friends or family members who have had a positive experience.
Another potential downside is hiring an agent with little to no experience. Buying a house will most likely be the biggest purchase of your life; you want to make sure that you are hiring an experienced professional that knows the ins and out of the business. When deciding to use an agent or not, make sure you ask how much experience they have in the business and how many homes they have sold in the past.
If you’re in the market for a new home, it’s definitely worth your time to contact a real estate agent. They have access to more listings than you would find online, they are experts at negotiating prices, it doesn’t cost anything extra to use an agent, they know the area inside and out, and they have relationships with lenders that can get you the best deal on a mortgage. Don’t go through this process alone – let us help you today!
Our team has sold thousands of homes throughout Middle Tennessee. Even if you are looking outside of Middle Tennessee for a home, contact us, and we can give recommendations for some of the top real estate agents throughout the country.